This is Holly.
You probably have never heard of her before.
Holly is a victim of animal cruelty.There have been dogs just like her that the media cast their light on because their owner was famous.
Holly's owner wasn't famous. However the abuse still exists, whether the media chooses to shine their light on her or not.
I would not say I have become hardened over the years working with these dogs. When I meet each one, they never look back. They have taught me not to waste time hating their previous owners for what they have done to them, but to forgive, educate when I can, and move on. God only knows what could have happened to those people in their lives to make them think that treating another creature this way is okay.
So when I meet the dogs for the first time, I keep a stiff upper lip. No matter what condition they are in, we move forward.
This time was different.
Holly arrived with the other dogs rescued from her yard, and I went out to receive her. I smiled when I saw her, and gently tried to pry her 20lb. body from the crate she was petrified to be removed from. I barely had both arms around her tiny frame before she stuck to me like glue, and wrapped her tiny arms around me like I was a life preserver in the sea. I stroked her back and told her she was alright now, and the tears just welled in my eyes. I have never been hugged so hard in all of my life.
Holly is on the road to healing. She is trying to eat, and gaining strength on her deformed legs. She is trying. She will get better.
So, the media may not be following her. You may not get to see her when she gets to romp with other dogs, perhaps later getting therapy dog certification...or even when her new adoptive family comes to take her home safe......forever.
My mission as an artist is to cast a light on the ones that the media may not. They are still here. They have faces, and they have names.